Lies Look Like Love by Bijaya Kumar Mishra
Publisher: Invincible Publishers
Price: Rs. 250 INR(Paperback), Rs. 165 INR(Kindle Edition)
My take on the book:
Maya lost her husband Ansh recently in a horrific accident and while she tried very hard to cope with her grief, she finds a stalker standing outside her window every night. There are already rumors rife in their small forest town that Maya’s villa is cursed and every family that lived earlier there had bad luck haunt them. None of the residents of the town ever visited the villa but gossiped of Maya and her sisters, who never stepped outside the villa.
Ravi, who is a scientist, arrived recently in this town to research on few rare herbs found in the forest and stayed in the forest rest house. As the rest house is surrounded by multiple wild creatures from the adjacent forest, he goes house hunting, only to be turned back for being a bachelor. Once Ravi gets accommodation in Maya’s outhouse, he encounters Maya’s sisters and their mysterious behavior. Who is the stalker, what secrets does Maya, her sisters and the villa hold within them and how does Ravi get entangled in them forms the rest of the story.
The story has the ideal backdrop for a thriller — a sleepy small town surrounded by a dense forest, a mysterious villa with even more mysterious characters, a new entrant to the town developing a soft spot for the beautiful woman he meets. The story starts by posing multiple questions to the reader as everything around Maya is a mystery. After every few pages, the author keeps revealing few of the secrets that keeps the first half of the story interesting.
However even with few elements held by the author without revelations till the climax, I felt the story did not live up to the expectations it setup at the beginning. While a reader beginning on thrillers and mysteries might enjoy it, if you are regular with these genres, the climax does not thrill as much, and leaves some loopholes. Also, the story could have been edited better to keep it crisper, especially in the second half, where Ravi’s musings take over the narration, at times become hurdles to the pace.
The author keeps the number of characters to minimal, without unnecessary cluttering. Ravi and Maya both have grey areas which keeps them realistic and interesting till the end. The story is atmospheric with the author’s descriptions transporting the reader into the locales. Pick this one if you prefer cozy mysteries.